Your Sex Life After COPD Diagnosis

Your Sex Life After COPD Diagnosis

Enjoy Sex Again!

From Health’s Disease and Condition content is reviewed by Sanja Jelic, MD

Filed In:

  1. Lung Diseases

A COPD diagnosis doesn’t mean your sex life is over. If you have found that your sex life has decreased since your COPD diagnosis, here are a few helpful tips for rejuvenating and keeping your sex life alive:

  • Talk to your partner openly about your feelings and concerns about having sex
  • See a sex therapist or talk to your doctor about what you can do to improve your sexual relationship
  • Join a support group to get advice about sex and answers to your questions
  • Have sex at a time during the day when fatigue is at its lowest
  • Take a bath or shower together
  • Clear your airways before havign sex
  • Use your bronchodilator before having sex and keep it within arms reach
  • If you are oxygen-dependent, get additional tubing (longer tubing) to allow for placing the oxygen tank away from the bed (or even out of the room!) and out of the way
  • Do not eat a large meal or perform a strenuous activity prior to sex
  • Avoid consuming alcohol before sex
  • Cool the bedroom prior to and during sex
  • Facilitate and focus more on hugging, kissing and cuddling rather than the actual sex act itself
  • Incorporate sexual aids (only after both partners have discussed and agreed to it)
  • Strive for intimacy rather than sexual gratification
  • Begin an exercise program (approved by your doctor) to gain stamina and reduce shortness of breath
  • Try to relax and free your mind of worries about harming your COPD partner
  • Expect fewer and shorter erections, and delayed orgasms. This is a natural “side effect” of getting older!
  • Rest before, during and after sex. Let the well partner do all (or most) of the work
  • Use sexual positions that allow you to rest during sex and do not hinder your breathing


FREE book – “Being Close” from the National Jewish Medical Research Center can be ordered by calling 1-800-222-LUNG.

Source: Coping With COPD by Elaine Fantle Shimberg 

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